This instalment in my A-Z of Australian megafauna series has been long overdue (the last one was written way back in October 2013) so, without further ado, we’ll get straight into talking about it!
This time, it’s one of the most, if not the iconic Australian megafauna taxon, Diprotodon. Read on, for a brief introduction to the quintessential extinct Aussie. The name Diprotodon means “two front teeth” and refers to the enlarged, constantly growing first incisors of the animal.
It was the very first fossil mammal to be described from Australia and it was named by none other than the man who coined the name dinosaur, Richard Owen, in 1838.
It still remains uncertain exactly how many species of Diprotodon there were, estimates vary between one to eight depending on who you talk to. However, studies have revealed that Diprotodon was most likely sexually dimorphic, implying that some of the other named species are in fact just members of the opposite sex.
Australian Megafauna A-Z: D is for Diprotodon